Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Arizona Diamondbacks expected to pursue J.D. Martinez, agent Scott Boras says

As for the why the Diamondbacks might not be involved, it likely will come down to money. They enter the offseason with a roster projected to earn around $115 million when factoring in guaranteed contracts, arbitration raises and minimum salaried players. Trades and/or non-tenders could free up cash, but it likely would take a big increase in spending or a major trade or two for the club to afford what Martinez seems likely to command on the open market.

Also:
Jerry Crasnick
@jcrasnick
Teams that have reached out early on J.D. Martinez have gotten the impression Scott Boras is looking for something in the $200 million range.

Ha !

shoewizard Posted: November 08, 2017 at 07:25 PM | 55 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: diamondbacks, free agency, j.d. martinez, scott boras

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 09, 2017 at 08:27 AM (#5573352)
It seems odd that Martinez is projected for such a large contract when he brought back so little in the deadline trade.

If teams are willing to pay $25M p.a. for him now, why wouldn't they give up a B prospect to get 3 months of him in a pennant race?

In retrospect, the Yankees and Red Sox, and probably others should have bid more for him.
   2. Rally Posted: November 09, 2017 at 08:53 AM (#5573366)
He was traded on 7-18, played 62 games for Arizona, and hit 29 homers. Is that a record for a July trade acquisition?

Not sure how to search that. Off the top of my head I think of McGwire, who hit 24 for the 1997 Cardinals. He was traded on 7-31. Comparing apples to apples, Martinez hit 24 in August and September.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: November 09, 2017 at 09:11 AM (#5573371)
@jcrasnick
Teams that have reached out early on J.D. Martinez have gotten the impression Scott Boras is looking for something in the $200 million range.

Ha !
At this point, is it really notable or worthy of a reaction when Boras (or another agent) leaks out a high number about a free agent?
   4. shoewizard Posted: November 09, 2017 at 09:47 AM (#5573383)
Valid point, Nate,

It's not out the realm of possibility that some team ponies up 6/180 for JD, although it doesn't seem likely.

Because of health and defense concerns, hard to see him getting a 6th year.

If 5 years, could the avg annual be as high as 30 and he gets 5/150 ? Possible, but I think if you look at Upton for 5/106, the highest you can reasonably justify for JD is 5/125, in my opinion.

But the markets often surprise us, as you are alluding to, so we'll see.

The D Backs have ZERO chance to sign Martinez unless they trade away 85-90% of Greinke's contract.
   5. shoewizard Posted: November 09, 2017 at 10:03 AM (#5573390)
He was traded on 7-18, played 62 games for Arizona, and hit 29 homers. Is that a record for a July trade acquisition?

Not sure how to search that. Off the top of my head I think of McGwire, who hit 24 for the 1997 Cardinals. He was traded on 7-31. Comparing apples to apples, Martinez hit 24 in August and September.


Not just focusing on the homers, but thinking about hi impact mid season trades, I thought of Fred McGriff in 1993


Martinez: 62G 257 PA, 168 OPS+ 302/366/741 slash 29 HR 65 RBI 2.6 WAR
McGriff : 68G 291 PA, 165 OPS+ 310/392/612 slash 19 HR 55 RBI 3.2 WAR

Adjusted for Context, McGriff's post trade impact probably just as great.

One of the big story lines I remember from that 93 season was the addition of McGriff was given credit for the "turn around" of some of the Braves other big hitters. Their team OPS in first half was .702, and post ASB .782, But if you looked at Justice and Gant, they had good first halves,as did Blauser, just lower batting avg. Pendleton had a much better 2nd half. I remember thinking at the time it was kind of a bullshit aspect of the narrative, but lineup synergy is a thing too perhaps, just hard to prove
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 09, 2017 at 10:04 AM (#5573392)
The D Backs have ZERO chance to sign Martinez unless they trade away 85-90% of Greinke's contract.

MLB is hugely profitable. Lots of teams can spend way more than they say they can.
   7. fra paolo Posted: November 09, 2017 at 10:11 AM (#5573395)
If I was a GM, with money to spend, I would entertain the idea of giving Martinez a seven-year contract. The last year or two will probably be a bit of a dud, but there's a reasonable chance the first five will be worth the investment, especially if I'm running a contender with a gaping hole in one of the corner OFs.

I wouldn't be surprised by 7/$200, to be honest. Might even do it myself.

A lot depends on how much one values defensive metrics. Having seen Martinez play in Detroit, I think oWAR overestimates his defence somewhat, so while one might think one is getting a 4 oWAR/season player over the next three seasons, the reality could be a 3.8 oWAR player.
   8. Cris E Posted: November 09, 2017 at 10:16 AM (#5573399)
Agreed, but I might do a 6/$150 with two $10m player option years at the end (or call it a 8/170 with an opt-out after 6). That way he gets rich, the tail doesn't strangle you, and if after six years he's still effective or the economics have changed a lot he can go get paid market rate.
   9. shoewizard Posted: November 09, 2017 at 10:19 AM (#5573401)
MLB is hugely profitable. Lots of teams can spend way more than they say they can.


They could...but Ken Kendrick won't.

He went into last year with a self imposed 100M salary cap, AFTER he had signed Greinke, which means they gave 1/3 of payroll to one guy and then didn't finish the job by taking payroll up to 110-120.

(During the year they absorbed some extra payroll, in JD, so final was about 105M)

I've tracked KK's spending every year since 2005, and I even worked for the man. I know what he is likely to do. He is likely to bump payroll 5M to 10M , maybe even 15M from 2017 starting point, which would bring him to 115. If I am WILDLY off, he will take it to 120M

But 115 of that 120M is already committed , so unless they take it to 130-135 M they have no chance to sign Martinez. And they are simply not gonna take it that high.

   10. shoewizard Posted: November 09, 2017 at 10:21 AM (#5573403)
I think oWAR overestimates his defence somewhat, so while one might think one is getting a 4 oWAR/season player over the next three seasons, the reality could be a 3.8 oWAR player.


I think this is sarcasm, but am not sure. Wanted to check first before responding. ;)
   11. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 09, 2017 at 10:39 AM (#5573419)
He is a 30 year old OF with with 14 career WAR.

I wish all his pursuers good luck.
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: November 09, 2017 at 10:59 AM (#5573452)
Doesn't WAR already factor in his position?
   13. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: November 09, 2017 at 01:58 PM (#5573593)
If 5 years, could the avg annual be as high as 30 and he gets 5/150 ? Possible, but I think if you look at Upton for 5/106, the highest you can reasonably justify for JD is 5/125, in my opinion.


On the surface Martinez and Upton are pretty good comps, but I think their contracts could end up pretty far apart. Upton probably left some money/years on the table and it seems like a lot of teams are going to be bidding on Martinez. Increased bidding competition increases the likelihood of a team doing something stupid. This is the one chance for Martinez to cash in and he has Boras as his agent. Upton has already made $100 million (and isn't repped by Boras) so he might not have been as motivated to maximize his contract.

Basically, I think whatever team ends up signing Martinez is pretty likely to regret it in a couple years (particularly if it is a NL team).
   14. Batman Posted: November 09, 2017 at 02:23 PM (#5573607)
As far as I can tell, Martinez's 29 HR are the most of any July acquisition. The only players with more HR for their second team in a season are Gus Zernial (33 HR- traded on April 30) and Goose Goslin (30- traded on June 13). McGwire is the only player with more HR than Martinez in a year when they played for multiple teams.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: November 09, 2017 at 02:40 PM (#5573622)
He's turning 30 so he has a decent chance at a 7-year contract that will take him through the magical age 36. If it's shorter than that, I'll predict it comes with an early opt-out similar to Upton. The counter to Upton is that Cespedes got 4/$110 for ages 31-34 (an overpay relative to Upton) so I'll guess we're looking at 5/$135-140 or a longer deal at slightly lower AAV.

#8 ... I don't think we've ever seen a contract like that and all those options would offer a player is protection against total collapse since he wouldn't be able to sign elsewhere to get his $10 M. For a contract like that, it would more likely be 6/$150 with a $25 M team option with a $5-10 M buyout. IF he's faded, the team can still walk away for $5-10 M while JD is free to sign elsewhere for whatever he can get.
   16. shoewizard Posted: November 09, 2017 at 05:01 PM (#5573779)
On the surface Martinez and Upton are pretty good comps, but I think their contracts could end up pretty far apart. Upton probably left some money/years on the table and it seems like a lot of teams are going to be bidding on Martinez. Increased bidding competition increases the likelihood of a team doing something stupid. This is the one chance for Martinez to cash in and he has Boras as his agent. Upton has already made $100 million (and isn't repped by Boras) so he might not have been as motivated to maximize his contract.

Basically, I think whatever team ends up signing Martinez is pretty likely to regret it in a couple years (particularly if it is a NL team).


Good points all. I think when I was guessing 5/125 the extra 19 million over Upton's 106 was addressing some of the differences you highlight.

However Walt is coming in 135-140 (27-28 avg annual) and mentions Cespedes comp.

Man, whoever signs him just better hope that all the fielding metrics are completely wrong about him

Career

rTOT -26
rDRS -35
UZR -25
FRAA -48

From what I saw in his 60 something games in AZ, almost every one of which I watched, he doesn't have much ability to go track down balls deep in the gaps or in the corners, and his arm is just OK. He hits the cutoff man ok, but people ran on him a lot. He catches what he can get to, and seldom looks awkward doing it, and I believe thats where some of the positive reviews of his defense from some people comes from.

I know these metrics are flawed, and the smaller the sample the more useless they are. But when you look at the guys who put up large negative numbers like this over their careers, generally they were already considered to bad defenders by the Eye test as well.

I mean a case maybe can be made for 1 or two guys among the worst 15-20 on This list or this list. But for the most part is there really much argument that the worst 15 guys on each list were bad defenders ?

So in bigger sample sizes these metrics seem to at least be pointing us in the right direction, as imperfect as they may be.





   17. Nero Wolfe, Indeed Posted: November 09, 2017 at 05:07 PM (#5573781)
I agree five years is plenty, but someone will kick in the extra year (or two) to guarantee the signing.
   18. Khrushin it bro Posted: November 09, 2017 at 05:28 PM (#5573791)
Might be interesting for the Cubs if they trade Heyward to the Giants and Schwarber for some pitching, depending on who they get in return of course. Bryant, Rizzo then Martinez would be a pretty good middle of the lineup.
   19. Man o' Schwar Posted: November 09, 2017 at 05:34 PM (#5573796)
Might be interesting for the Cubs if they trade Heyward to the Giants and Schwarber for some pitching, depending on who they get in return of course. Bryant, Rizzo then Martinez would be a pretty good middle of the lineup.

If they unload Heyward and make room in the outfield, I'd rather see them take a run at trading for Stanton if the alternative is giving Martinez $20M+ per year.
   20. Khrushin it bro Posted: November 09, 2017 at 05:38 PM (#5573799)
Good point.

EDIT: It will be interesting to see what the Marlins get for Stanton if they really do trade him.
   21. Man o' Schwar Posted: November 09, 2017 at 06:17 PM (#5573812)
EDIT: It will be interesting to see what the Marlins get for Stanton if they really do trade him.

It feels like one of those situations where what he's worth to the team that has him and what he's worth to the team that has to give something up to get him are miles apart. Either someone will come with an overpay, or they'll drop their price.

Or he'll stay a Marlin.
   22. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: November 09, 2017 at 06:34 PM (#5573816)
Boras was able to get 63 million for Werth's age 36-38 seasons so I don't doubt him getting 200M for JD. He really wants to hit 200M for JD so he can justify his 500M ask for Harper. And all he needs is the appearance of 200M, even if it never actually gets realized.

JD will easily get 5 years but that alone won't get him 200. Several teams would do 5/120 which is 24/aav which buys him through age 34, it's getting those options into the contract to make it look larger and finagling the extra 20M guaranteed where Boras gets paid to do what he does. If he can get the aav to 29 (like Cespedes) with a couple option years, he can hit the 200M mark even if the guaranteed portion is 140M.


   23. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: November 09, 2017 at 06:45 PM (#5573818)
Good points all. I think when I was guessing 5/125 the extra 19 million over Upton's 106 was addressing some of the differences you highlight.

However Walt is coming in 135-140 (27-28 avg annual) and mentions Cespedes comp.

Man, whoever signs him just better hope that all the fielding metrics are completely wrong about him


$27-28 AAV sounds pretty likely to me. My guess would be 6 years with a team option for year 7.

I completely agree about Martinez's defense (and base running). He already makes more sense primarily as a DH and I would not want to see him playing LF for my team as a 35 year old. Which is why I think signing Martinez is much riskier for a NL team.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: November 09, 2017 at 06:54 PM (#5573822)
Man, whoever signs him just better hope that all the fielding metrics are completely wrong about him

I don't know about the other metrics but his DRS/Rfield is killed by a single year of -22.

2014 -1
2015 +4
2016 -22
2017 -5

With that track record, I think you should discount the -22, especially if there was a legit extenuating circumstance (no idea). But sure, almost any slugger should be more attractive to an AL team that has the option to hide him at DH.

On the Cubs: if they got out from under Heyward, I assume they'd wait to make a run at Harper next year rather than lock into Martinez. Possibly if they could get Stanton (and some cash?) while giving up nothing, that would be preferable to giving Harper the deed to Wrigley Field.

I'm partly boosting my JD prediction for three things: (1) AZ will be under pressure to bring him back as the Mets were with Cespedes (I don't think any other team offers Cespedes that); (2) Boras; (3) like everybody else, I usually underestimate and can't believe X would be signed for Y ... might as well get ahead of it this time.

Hinted at in a few places, Boras does seem fond of magic numbers and is willing to achieve them through weird, deferred salary structures. Scherzer's 7/$210 allowed Boras to claim the $30 M barrier but it's so deferred it's not that much more than Lester's contract (given age). If he's got his heart set on $200 for JD, he can probably get there by having half of it paid 2026 and later ... turning 8/$200 into a NPV of 8/$170 or something. Given his injury history, I still wouldn't sign him for that, especially as an NL team.
   25. shoewizard Posted: November 09, 2017 at 07:14 PM (#5573828)
This comp is kinda statistically uncanny

Age 26 to 29 Since 1973

Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1973 to 2017, From Age 26 to 29, Played at least 40% of games at LF or RF, (requiring OPS+>=140, Rbat>=75, Rfield<=0, Rbaser<=0, BB<=.11*PA and At least 1950 plate appearances), sorted by greatest WAR Position Players

Player           WAR/pos OPS+  Rbat Rfield Rbaser  BB   PA   R   H  2B 3B  HR RBI  SO HBP GDP   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
Kevin Mitchell      16.2  153 131.3  
-23.8   -8.7 236 2218 302 532  96 16 128 367 344  15  29 .274 .353 .537 .890
J
.DMartinez       15.2  149 124.7  -24.0   -5.0 185 2143 304 579 124 10 128 350 560  11  55 .300 .362 .574 .936 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/9/2017.

I realize that doesn't mean too much. It's a comp of 1.

Mitchell remained a really good to great hitter the rest of his career from ages 30-36, WHEN HE WAS ABLE TO POST UP

He averaged just 264 PA per season from age 30-36, but hit 301/379/526 140 OPS +

He also continued to play poor defense, and that combined with his lack of playing time, limited him to 1.1 WAR per season, 6.7 Total

Not the same body types at all, but amazing how close their age 26-29 line up.


OK, so here is the more or less the same comp criteria, just widened a bit. That brings in Magglio Ordonez and Bobby Bonilla. Both those guys "feel" kinda right as well. (although they were a good deal better prior to age 26)

But they fit the profile. Guys that rake, but don't field well on the corners, and through their primes.

From age 30 on, other than one huge year in 2007, Ordonez was a 2 WAR player at best. Bonilla avgd 2.5 WAR from 30-34, and then injuries took away his playing time and effectiveness.

I mean there is definitely a "type" emerging. I think it's likely JD continues to hit, but his defense is not going to improve, and it's 50/50 at best that he remains healthy enough to accumulate the type of value required to break even on a 5/140 deal. Someone is more likely to get burnt here than not.

Player            WAR/pos OPS+  Rbat Rfield Rbaser  BB   PA   R   H  2B 3B  HR RBI  SO GDP   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
Magglio Ordonez      16.8  139 134.4  
-31.4    2.4 240 2664 410 747 167  8 130 473 284  83 .314 .379 .555 .934
Kevin Mitchell       16.2  153 131.3  
-23.8   -8.7 236 2218 302 532  96 16 128 367 344  29 .274 .353 .537 .890
J
.DMartinez        15.2  149 124.7  -24.0   -5.0 185 2143 304 579 124 10 128 350 560  55 .300 .362 .574 .936
Bobby Bonilla        14.1  138 103.4  
-34.5    2.4 277 2570 372 631 143 23  93 376 336  46 .280 .355 .487 .842 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/9/2017.

EDIT: One major call out here is that JD's walk rate is just 8.6%, the worst in this group. Thats roughly league avg. It might go up as pitchers fear his HR power more, but the dude likes to swing, a lot.

   26. No longer interested in this website Posted: November 09, 2017 at 07:24 PM (#5573830)
MLB is hugely profitable. Lots of teams can spend way more than they say they can.


Shhh...stop making sense. There are lots of fans (some on this website) who drink the kool aid from the front office.
   27. shoewizard Posted: November 09, 2017 at 07:33 PM (#5573835)

I don't know about the other metrics but his DRS/Rfield is killed by a single year of -22.

2014 -1
2015 +4
2016 -22
2017 -5

With that track record, I think you should discount the -22, especially if there was a legit extenuating circumstance (no idea). But sure, almost any slugger should be more attractive to an AL team that has the option to hide him at DH.


This feels a bit like Cherry picking.

First of all, I quoted 4 metrics, and gave career numbers. You chose ONE metric, and then only last 4 seasons, and want to "discount" the one "super bad" year. So presentation here is a bit misleading.

I know we tend to look at most recent seasons for guidance, but when it comes to fielding, guys are supposed to have more range when younger, and usually stronger arms too. So it's notable that in his age 25 season, which was HALF a season, he was -11 rDRS, (-23/year). There is more than just the one data point in rDRS that indicates he is a bad fielder.

Secondly, you also have UZR grading him out -25 for career, averaging -6 for career. They also have him -17 for the same year rDRS has him -22, so I think it's probably safe to say he had a very bad fielding year. If that was due to infirmity, that is NOT a data point in his favor either. A below avg defender, who is often hurt, cannot be magically converted into a good defender, although he may have shorter periods of time where he appears better or worse than his overall "true talent".. (I know....I know, I hate that phrase too, but it works here)

I'm not saying that Martinez is the worst defender in the world, or the league, or even on the D Backs, (Hello Yasmany Tomas).

But I AM saying that there is enough evidence FOR ME, both from what I watched, and in the numbers, to say he is clearly below average defender with a shaky health track record, heading into his 30's.

Those factors SHOULD depress his value somewhat, but they may not. Some GM may go nuts.

Book mark and lets review in a few years. :)

   28. shoewizard Posted: November 09, 2017 at 07:41 PM (#5573836)

Shhh...stop making sense. There are lots of fans (some on this website) who drink the kool aid from the front office.


Oh, believe me I know. I was EXTREMELY critical of Kendrick for not increasing payroll over 100M last year. Note I mentioned the "self imposed" salary cap. That was NOT meant to be complimentary. It's bullshit. Of course they can afford to go much higher in Arizona, but they won't.

I'm just saying in THIS case, Martinez's case needs to be looked at critically because of health and defense.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: November 09, 2017 at 10:25 PM (#5573885)
#27 ... chill out. As I said ... I don't know what the other metrics looked like in those years ... they may or may not have supported what that shows. I appreciate you tracking down 4 stats, I'm too lazy. (It's not cherry-picking when you start a post by highlighting that you're only using one of the available set of stats.)

But yes, I don't see much if any point in looking back more than 4 years or so. In this particular case, JD Martinez from 23-25 was clearly a vastly different and inferior player to ages 26-29.

IMO, we are wise to discount outlying seasons until we have some evidence that it is a new standard for that player. If he'd put up OPS+ of 105, 110, 160, 112, I'd be advising you to discount the 160.

But I don't object if you want to look the entire career -- it doesn't really change things. By DRS, we've got 563 innings in 2013 and 1067 innings in 2016 that were absolutely atrocious (-33 overall) ... and we have about 4400 innings, mainly in 2014, 2015 and 2017 but dating back to 2011 in which he was pretty much dead average. Which of those is the "real" JD Martinez? Nobody knows.

But sure, he was below-average each of the last two years and he's turning 30 so we expect him to get worse. If people want to talk about him as if he's a -5 fielder right now who will decline to -10 over the next 2-3 years then you'd probably prefer he played 1B or DH, I've got no concerns. Seems to me people were talking about him like he's Sheffield or Manny ... which of course he might be. But, even including his -22, he's -24 over the last 4 years. Jay Bruce is -8, a mere 4 runs per season. Or the Rfield difference between Stanton and JD over the last 4 seasons is about 1.3 to 1.4 per season while the Rbat difference is zero. So, sure, you should not desire Martinez as much as Stanton and should not offer him anything like 10/$300 or 8/$240.

Jose Abrue seems a pretty good comp. Over the last 4 years, he has -5.3 dWAR to JD's -4.4 dWAR. Because of much superior durability, Abreu has a smidgen more Rbat, 1.7 more WAR but the same WAA. Abreu is one year older.
   30. Textbook Editor Posted: November 09, 2017 at 10:32 PM (#5573887)
[crosses fingers Dombrowski does not give Martinez $200 million]
   31. shoewizard Posted: November 09, 2017 at 10:57 PM (#5573893)
#27 ... chill out.


ummm......I was completely chill. just having a conversation here. You have mis read me and my tone.

If thats my fault for poor choice of words, than I apologize for that. But while I admit I have been "over sensitive" in the recent past once or twice, I think the shoe is on the other foot right now, pun intended ;)

In this particular case, JD Martinez from 23-25 was clearly a vastly different and inferior player to ages 26-29.


Plenty of evidence for this at the plate, and his swing path. But defensively ? I don't know what evidence would support that he was a vastly inferior outfielder in his early 20's compared to his late 20's.


If people want to talk about him as if he's a -5 fielder right now who will decline to -10 over the next 2-3 years then you'd probably prefer he played 1B or DH, I've got no concerns.


So we are in agreement then. And that makes him considerably less valuable than he otherwise would be. And I think we both agree on that as well. But some GM might pay him bigly anyway.


Seems to me people were talking about him like he's Sheffield or Manny ... which of course he might be.


I can see where my comment in post 16 may seem contradictory, but I am not and was not asserting he is Manny/Sheffield bad. I linked those two reports to just try to show that the Metrics are certainly capturing the truly bad, (and the truly great) defenders at the extremes. To me that supports the utility of these metrics when the sample size is large enough and we don't try to chop it up too much. If they are doing that well at identifying the truly bad and truly great, why wouldn't we accept that they are also more or less getting it right with the -5 to -10 guys as well.

So thats why in the last sentence of comment 16 I wrote

So in bigger sample sizes these metrics seem to at least be pointing us in the right direction, as imperfect as they may be.


Anyway, 3 Seasons of outfield innings is roughly = to one full season of Plate Appearances, so to speak. Thats why it's best to look at as big a sample as possible. You know all this better than I do, so I am a bit perplexed why the conversation went in this direction.









   32. shoewizard Posted: November 09, 2017 at 11:48 PM (#5573903)
Here is an article from December 2016 using Stat Cast to shine a little more light on why JD's numbers were so bad in 2016.

Interesting read.
   33. Cooper Nielson Posted: November 10, 2017 at 01:42 AM (#5573905)
2014 -1
2015 +4
2016 -22
2017 -5


As a Tiger fan, I've seen JD play a lot over the past four years, and what's strange about these stats is they actually line up pretty well with the "eye test."

In JD's first year with the Tigers, when he played mostly LF, I thought he looked... adequate. Not particularly graceful or range-y, but he looked like an outfielder (not a misplaced DH) and his arm was decent. No real concerns.

In 2015, in RF, he was visibly better, even made a few highlight-reel catches, and had 15 assists. He seemed to have worked hard on his defense over the winter, and he really looked quite good to me. If I recall correctly, he was even a finalist for the Gold Glove (though that reflected a weakness at the RF position in the AL as much as it did his performance). So I was optimistic.

Then in 2016 and 2017, he somehow turned into a bumbling fool (6 errors in 118 games in 2016). I don't know how it happened, but it didn't seem to get better. Maybe it was the injuries?
   34. Cooper Nielson Posted: November 10, 2017 at 01:53 AM (#5573906)
I mean a case maybe can be made for 1 or two guys among the worst 15-20 on This list or this list. But for the most part is there really much argument that the worst 15 guys on each list were bad defenders ?

As analytical fans, we know better, but it's worth noting that the "top" 15 on the BB-Ref list includes a bunch of Gold Glove winners:

2. Bernie Williams (4x)
3. Matt Kemp (2x)
6. Ken Griffey Jr. (10x)
13. Andrew McCutchen (1x)
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:00 AM (#5573942)
6. Ken Griffey Jr. (10x)

But he was legitimately great when he was young. He was just left in CF far, far too long.
   36. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:17 AM (#5573954)
You mean Griffey was good in the beginning, but then he couldn't go far enough?
   37. fra paolo Posted: November 10, 2017 at 10:52 AM (#5574027)
Here is an article from December 2016 using Stat Cast to shine a little more light on why JD's numbers were so bad in 2016.

While I wouldn't defend Martinez against claims he is a poor fielder, I find assertions like this (from the linked article)
That's an extremely big deal, because both FanGraphs and Baseball Reference agreed that Martinez dropped from a five-win player in 2015 (i.e., star level) to a two-win player in '16 (i.e., league average)

essentially disputable because some of that downward adjustment actually belongs to the pitcher. The 2016 Tigers gave 48 starts to Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey, who gave up hard contact at a 30 per cent clip. (And there were relievers who were worse, like Mark Lowe.)

The other thing is that everything we know about estimating fielding is that a single-season total should be treated with caution, so even saying Martinez' fielding is going to cost a win per season is based on a weak foundation. He certainly is going to take away value with his glove, though, and it could be as bad as a win a season. But someone like Bernie Williams (whose rfield ups and downs kind of resemble Martinez') didn't get consistently that bad until his age 33 season. There's a decent chance here of a couple of endurable seasons, and after that perhaps he can DH. (Which raises a different matter where I part company with sabermetric orthodoxy, but let's not digress.)

Thus, I still can imagine this signing making sense for an AL team in the midst of a window of contention, but that leaves quite a small market. Here is my ill-informed take on it (would welcome corrections from the better informed):

BAL -- He'd fit in well here, I think, with a small outfield to patrol but are they really in contention? (Is anyone in the AL East not in contention?) Would he push them over the luxury tax limit?
CLE -- I can't imagine they have the budget, given their relatively poor attendance, but I think he'd make a big difference.
SEA -- He could take over from Cruz in the DH slot after 2018, but he seems an awkward fit with the rest of the outfield for now. But it's a nice problem to have for a season, perhaps.
TOR -- If one doesn't think they can re-sign Donaldson, he's an option, but otherwise he doesn't fix the Jays' problems of needing a lefty bat and not needing another fragile hitter like Tulowitzki. (And they're after Bruce, aren't they? He's a better fit.)
   38. shoewizard Posted: November 10, 2017 at 11:04 AM (#5574039)
Fra, I think I would add Boston to the list, although I am sure Red Sox fans won't like that.

They would need to make a trade of one of their younger outfielders, which they may be willing to do to get more pitching. Maybe they trade Bradley, and shift Betts back to CF ? Then they could always shift JD to DH after 2018 or 19 when Hanley is gone.

Not sure what the vesting option terms are in Hanley's deal, it ends 2018 with Vesting Option for 2019. Is it tied to playing time ? MVP votes, anyone know ??





   39. Nasty Nate Posted: November 10, 2017 at 11:10 AM (#5574048)
Not sure what the vesting option terms are in Hanley's deal, it ends 2018 with Vesting Option for 2019. Is it tied to playing time ?
Yes, playing time - I think plate appearances. And it's at a level where it could become a sticky issue during the season next year.

Fra, I think I would add Boston to the list ... They would need to make a trade of one of their younger outfielders
Maybe Boras is selling the Sox on the idea that they can just park him at DH for the next decade and he will give them a 30's like Ortiz did. I'd guess that they won't trade one of their 3 starting OF unless they are making room for Stanton.
   40. shoewizard Posted: November 10, 2017 at 11:42 AM (#5574069)
Yes, playing time - I think plate appearances. And it's at a level where it could become a sticky issue during the season next year.


Yeah, I can see that. If I were GM, I would never give Vesting Option tied to Playing time. Only MVP votes or something like that.

Maybe Boras is selling the Sox on the idea that they can just park him at DH for the next decade and he will give them a 30's like Ortiz did. I'd guess that they won't trade one of their 3 starting OF unless they are making room for Stanton.


Examples of 2.5 or more WAR seasons, age 30 or older

It's not hard actually seeing JD fit onto the top 10 of this list somewhere.

If you believe FA WAR values are really over 9 million now, and presumably would be up to 11-12 Million by 2023, which one of the FG writers is asserting, then an avg annual of 27-28 M for 6 years is possible.

Seems like I keep talking myself into a higher and higher deal for Martinez as this thread progresses. Boras is a witch ! Mind Control !



   41. fra paolo Posted: November 10, 2017 at 11:46 AM (#5574076)
Seems like I keep talking myself into a higher and higher deal for Martinez as this thread progresses. Boras is a witch ! Mind Control !
What does the 'B' in BTF stand for anyway?
   42. Nasty Nate Posted: November 10, 2017 at 12:31 PM (#5574109)
Yeah, I can see that. If I were GM, I would never give Vesting Option tied to Playing time.
I don't know why either party would want one, given the easily-predicted trouble they sometimes cause. There must be a way to include something else in the contract of equal value.
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2017 at 12:43 PM (#5574114)
Yeah, I can see that. If I were GM, I would never give Vesting Option tied to Playing time. Only MVP votes or something like that.

Why not? It's an option based on something you directly control. That's great.

It sucks for the player, since the team can bench him to avoid paying him.
   44. Nasty Nate Posted: November 10, 2017 at 12:55 PM (#5574122)
Why not?
It sometimes causes strife between the player and the team.
   45. shoewizard Posted: November 10, 2017 at 12:59 PM (#5574126)
Why not? It's an option based on something you directly control. That's great.

It sucks for the player, since the team can bench him to avoid paying him.


Well, you guys know me, I'm all about avoiding conflict. ;)

I just wouldn't want to be in the position of wanting to bench an aging veteran who wasn't performing well and set myself up to be accused of doing something underhanded to avoid the option.

But I guess you are right, teams (and players) should try to negotiate the best terms possible for themselves in almost all instances.
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: November 10, 2017 at 01:25 PM (#5574153)
FYI, if Hanley reaches 497 PAs, he gets $22m for 2019.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2017 at 01:44 PM (#5574172)
It sometimes causes strife between the player and the team.

Sure, but that's better than paying $20M for an over-the-hill player you no longer want. If you think saving the money isn't worth the strife, you can just play him. But, it gives the team an option on how to get out of the extra year; options always have positive value.
   48. Nasty Nate Posted: November 10, 2017 at 01:56 PM (#5574183)
Sure, but that's better than paying $20M for an over-the-hill player you no longer want. If you think saving the money isn't worth the strife, you can just play him.
Right, but these undesirable choices could have been avoided in the first place by structuring the contract differently (assuming there was a way to do so that both parties found acceptable).

But, it gives the team an option on how to get out of the extra year; options always have positive value.
Unless you think Hanley's going to have an awesome 2018, the option clearly has a negative value from the team's perspective.
   49. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2017 at 02:48 PM (#5574218)
Unless you think Hanley's going to have an awesome 2018, the option clearly has a negative value from the team's perspective.

I was talking about the option being based on playing time, which gives the team control over whether it vests. That "option" to control the vesting is very valuable.

In any case, the $22M option only vests if Hanley gets more than ~500 PA next season AND passes a team physical.

So, if Hanley is great, you let him him accrue 500+ PAs, and you keep him on a 1 year deal. If he's mediocre or bad, you bench him. So, if he repeats 2016, you let him play as much as he can, and you're fine with the option vesting; he's a bargain. He repeats 2017, and you bench him enough that the option doesn't vest,

The only remote situation where the option hurts you is if he's pretty good, and very durable, and you have no other equivalent player to substitute so that you want him to get 650 PAs, but don't want him for next year.

What does that even look like? Maybe a 110 wRC+ season, with no injury issues? That's about a 1-WAR season. Couple that with literally nobody else in the system being able to give you 150 PAs of a 110 wRC+ AND a very tight playoff race, and only then could the option be said to really hurt the Red Sox.
   50. Nasty Nate Posted: November 10, 2017 at 03:36 PM (#5574240)
I agree, but there was just a season where he was just good enough and durable enough to get playing time, and a very tight division race, etc..
   51. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2017 at 04:03 PM (#5574260)
I agree, but there was just a season where he was just good enough and durable enough to get playing time, and a very tight division race, etc..

You don't think the Sox could have found someone to take 53 PAs off of Hanley if it was his option year?
   52. Nasty Nate Posted: November 10, 2017 at 04:11 PM (#5574269)
Maybe. But as mediocre as Hanley was as a hitter, the bench guys all hit worse than him (Except Nunez, who was needed to play the field, before getting hurt).
   53. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2017 at 04:31 PM (#5574283)
Maybe. But as mediocre as Hanley was as a hitter, the bench guys all hit worse than him (Except Nunez, who was needed to play the field, before getting hurt).

Right, but the difference between Hanley's 93 wRC+, and say Sam Travis's 78, over 50 PA is tiny.
   54. Sunday silence Posted: November 10, 2017 at 06:19 PM (#5574344)

essentially disputable because some of that downward adjustment actually belongs to the pitcher. The 2016 Tigers gave 48 starts to Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey, who gave up hard contact at a 30 per cent clip.


The article cited above shows that FB and LD were dropping into RF at a rate of 45% when Martinez was in there which was the third worst rate in baseball I don't know what is the Pt of citing two guys who threw what 200 inn out of 1440 that season?

They didn't somehow allow 100 more LD than an average pitcher did they? No one has that power or crappiness unless there are pitchers with like a .450 BABIP.

And what about the rest of Det staff? Doesn't it mattter the total number of LDs given up and not cherry picking the two worst? Everyone has two worst pitchers rite?

From the article it looks like 2016 wasn't some odd aberration we should discount. Both UZR and TOTAL ZONE agree he's -22 or -23 runs. For once these ratings align.

And it's based on real life actual events. He had 15 asssts in 2015 and now what 3? His range seems bad too.

If you read the article one can readily form some outline of what best and worst numbers based on average. For range it's about +\- 20 or more balls a year (compare Adam Eaton's .339 vs trumbos .457 at about 400 balls a yr that's a differential of 48 but let's Jes say 40) at 0.8 runs per missed flyball that's 16 runs +/- from best to worst. For outfield holds it's probably again +/- 20 base runers advanced (Martinez is bad about 10% below avg and guys like Clemente had about 10% above; that's about 20 advances per year) so I'm guessing that is 5 runs at 0.25 weighted runs per advance. Base runner kills is about 10 yr on avg JD probably averages 5 if he played a whole yr out there. So he's down about -2.5 runs per yr.

Or about -23.5 runs vs an avg RF.

So maybe yearly defensive stat do fluctuate. So what? It's not hard to figure how much a bad OF vs a good OF will cost you. And it's not hard to see JD has obvious limitations out there.

The only thing I have trouble with the article is the visual they have comparing jd to heyward. It looks like heyward had no deep flyballs hit to the wall and looks like JD had a lot of challenging deep balls at the edge of his or anyone's range. It's not at all clear what to make of that despite what the article says
   55. shoewizard Posted: November 11, 2017 at 01:40 PM (#5574497)
Derek Hall says since Martinez switched to Boras, that pretty much seals it that D Backs won't be pursuing him. He also confirms worst fears, self imposed payroll cap is less than 10M more than last year.

Derek Hall says Diamondbacks payroll won't see steep increase

Hall said the Diamondbacks’ payroll will be “close to where we’ve been the last couple of years.” The club ended last season somewhere above $105 million and next year’s roster projects north of $115 million. That would appear to leave little room for another big-ticket item like Martinez, whose agent, Scott Boras, seems to be positioning his client for a major payday.


And also....


“(We had) some good conversations (before free agency began) and since then he’s sought new representation, so things have changed from those initial conversations,” Hall said. “But J.D. is such a great guy and we’re just glad to know that he enjoyed his time here because we enjoyed him being here, too.”


See Ya....

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Martin Hemner
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogJudge and Altuve | Articles | Bill James Online
(5 - 10:22am, Nov 19)
Last: Blanks for Nothing, Larvell

NewsblogOT - NBA 2017-2018 Tip-off Thread
(1414 - 10:16am, Nov 19)
Last: NJ in NY (Now with Baby!)

NewsblogMore on WAR – Joe Blogs – Medium
(1 - 9:44am, Nov 19)
Last: Captain Supporter

NewsblogOTP 13 November 2017: Politics, race now touching every sport
(1995 - 9:43am, Nov 19)
Last: Morty Causa

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(2102 - 8:32am, Nov 19)
Last: Chokeland Bill

NewsblogOT - November* 2017 College Football thread
(182 - 1:53am, Nov 19)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

NewsblogHow an Astros player helped high-school kids have a cool World Series celebration
(1 - 12:20am, Nov 19)
Last: ajnrules

Hall of MeritMock 2018 Modern Baseball Committee Hall of Fame Ballot
(76 - 11:33pm, Nov 18)
Last: robd4701

NewsblogOT: Winter Soccer Thread
(197 - 10:58pm, Nov 18)
Last: SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY

NewsblogThe Eric Hosmer Dilemma | FanGraphs Baseball
(37 - 9:34pm, Nov 18)
Last: 6 - 4 - 3

Hall of Merit2018 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(240 - 5:49pm, Nov 18)
Last: The Honorable Ardo

NewsblogStanton, Altuve capture first MVP Awards | MVP
(51 - 4:35pm, Nov 18)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

NewsblogJim Palmer on Mark Belanger and Omar Vizquel: The Hardball Times
(98 - 4:33pm, Nov 18)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogFangraphs: Let's Make One Thing Absolutely Clear About Aaron Judge
(22 - 3:42pm, Nov 18)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogThe story of Alex Anthopoulos: From tragedy to prodigy to Braves GM
(1 - 8:30am, Nov 18)
Last: bfan

Page rendered in 0.8518 seconds
47 querie(s) executed